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Items to Secure Ahead of Event

The following list includes items that are usually needed for a typical event.
Nametags and Tent CardsPlace cardsMenu cards | Scripts and Briefing Memo | Registration Table and Check-off lists | Packing the event boxFlowers and Linens (Tablecloths and Napkins)Podium/Audio-Visual NeedsFlag use/protocol | Photographer | Campus Directional Signs and Sign Standards | OU Staff Retiree Rocking Chair
Nametags and Tent Cards
If appropriate for the event, the use of nametags is encouraged. Where appropriate, it is always helpful to the attendee to include the table number/name in small print at the bottom right corner of the nametag.
Tent cards are used to note a seminar or meeting participant’s name; a table sponsor or organization name of a company, or special messages (“please take one”/“reserved”) or stations (“Registration” or “A-O”/ “P-Z”.) The tent card should not be confused with the smaller place cards used for meals. There are two sizes of tent cards commonly used for special events. The large 11” wide x 3 ½ "high cards are recommended. They must be purchased from an office supply store and run through your department’s printer. Additionally, you may order and have tent cards printed through the UC&M department. They are roughly 1/3 the size of an 8 ½” x 11” sheet.
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Place cards
Generally speaking, place cards are used and placed above the plate of each guest. Place cards sheets may be purchased from an office supply store and run through the printer.
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Menu cards
Menu cards are created by your department for small events and by UC&M for large events. The cards list each course separately. If using wine, that information is included in bottom center. The top, right-hand corner of the menu card lists the name, date, and location of the event. Menu cards are placed at each place-setting either under the folded napkin or next to the silverware.
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Scripts and Briefing Memo
Events that involve speeches are always scripted. The scripts that involve participation by the president are generally produced by the UC&M department. Please check with them on your particular event. Scripts must be given to key participants, at least, 10 business days prior to the event. Scripts are often changed up to the last minute when they involve recognizing VIP’s, Trustees, and OU Foundation Directors in the audience. For this reason, the registration table must pay particular attention to the status of VIP’s check-in.
A briefing memo should be sent to Dr. Russi (if he is participating) and your department head to provide them with important information about the event as it relates to their participation. This memo should accompany their script, if needed for the event.
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Registration Table and Check-off lists
The registration table houses the attendance list, nametags, programs (unless placed at each place setting) and special materials for the event. The registration table is the first source of table seating information and the final word on who will be recorded as having attended the event.
The registration table should be skirted and may be decorated with a floral arrangement. Nametags (both preprinted and blank, for emergency additions), alphabet specific tent cards, if appropriate, (“Registration” “A-P”, “Q-Z”), and program books. A registration table should have one person for every 50 nametags and plenty of pens and markers. A seating table chart (both for emergency rearranging and to inform guest where they are seated) is also located at the registration table.
Depending on the size of the event, attendance lists should be maintained. The lists should be used for sending packages, gifts, or materials to individuals who did not come and entering data of who attended.
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Packing the event box
An “event box” is packed for most events to ensure every item has been included. Typical items are:
  • Preprinted nametags, in alphabetical order (to save time in set-up) and blank nametags, pens and highlighters 
  • Multiple copies of table seating chart and room layout diagram 
  • Place cards and blank place cards 
  • Duct/packing/regular tape, scissors, and paper clips 
  • Extension cords, bungee cords 
  • WD-40 and a hammer 
  • Tent cards (registration table, table signage and blank extras) 
  • Guest gifts 
  • Flower displays 
  • Program books 
  • Program signage and easels 
  • Extra blank invitations (in case guests ask for samples)
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Flowers and Linens (Tablecloths and Napkins)
Flower arrangements are ordered for most events for the following areas: dining tables, registration tables, buffet tables, in front of the podium, and in lavatories (if feasible.) It is highly recommended that lilies and strong fragranced flowers not be used. 
Tablecloths and contrasting or complementary napkins should coordinate with flowers, china, and the tones of the room to produce an overall look consistent with the theme chosen for the event. Extra napkins are always ordered. Following the event, linens should be collected and kept in a secure place so that they may be collected immediately after the event. 
Linens are ordered for the size of table used: 8-top round (120”), 10-top round (132”) or a combination of overlay (sometimes 90” square) and underlay (132” round.) Table sizes can range from 8’ (banquet rectangular) to high-top cocktail tables.  See Table Linen Chart.
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Podium/Audio-Visual Needs
For events not held in the Oakland Center, the Classroom Support and Instructional Technical Services (CSITS) is the source for on-campus AV needs ranging from a podium and microphone to power point presentation equipment. If CSITS does not have the necessary equipment, they will suggest vendor alternatives.  They also offer flip charts (ie. easels with newsprint), overhead projectors and screens, in addition to more high-tech equipment and video taping service.  

You will need to fill out a request form, it can be found on their main page under 'Quick Links'.  This form is to be completed by anyone seeking CSITS support services for an event.  Once completed, email to  The CSITS staff will respond to the email and work out all details with the event coordinator. 

If holding an event in the Oakland Center, please work with the OC staff for your podium, AV and other room needs.
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Flag use/protocol
If you need a U.S., Michigan and/or O.U. flag for your event, please send an email to Sue MacDonell with the following information:
    Name, Department/Unit, Telephone Number, name and date of event and when the flag(s) will be returned.  It is requested that borrowed flag(s) be picked up two business days prior to your event and returned the next business day following your event.

Generally, three flags are used for most events requiring a formal podium:  the United States Flag, the State of Michigan Flag and the OU Flag.

Only a trained color guard should present the U.S. flag. The flag should never be presented by a person in academic regalia. It is very important to observe the rules of flag etiquette for the display of the U.S. and international flags.
Here is basic protocol for displaying the Stars and Stripes on U.S. soil:

  • The U.S. flag is always afforded the place of honor. 
    • If you are standing on the stage facing the audience, the U.S. Flag belongs on your right. The flags of your state and campus should be displayed on your left.
    • If you are standing on the stage facing the audience, and the U.S. flag is on the floor next to the stage, it belongs on your left side.
  • To display the U.S. flag with a group of state flags, place all the flags in a row with the U.S. flag in the center. It should be elevated on a platform so that is it higher than all the others.
  • When displaying the U.S. flag with flags of several other countries, arrange them in alphabetical order. All flags should be the same size and on separate poles that are the same height. Place all the flags in a straight line. Give the American flag the position of honor, and arrange the foreign flags to the left of it. On U.S. soil, the American flag should be the first one hoisted and the last one lowered.
  • If the U.S. flag is displayed with the flag of one other country, the American flag, as the host flag, goes in the position of honor to the right of the foreign flag.
  • When hanging the flag flat on a wall, the stars should be at the top. Either horizontally or vertically, the stars belong in the upper left-hand corner as you are facing the flag. When hanging flat behind a speaker’s podium, the flag should be straight behind and above the speaker.
  • In a procession, the American flag goes on the marching right. For example, if a color guard is presenting the U.S. and one other flag, and you are facing the guard, the U.S. flag would be on your left-hand side. If several flags are being presented, line the flag bearers up shoulder to shoulder. The person carrying the U.S. flag should be positioned in the center of the line and march a step or two ahead of the others.
  • The flag may not be used to cover or drape a lectern, table, platform, ceiling, or vehicle.

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The event photographer must be reserved through the UC&M department well in advance of the event by using the “Request for Photographic Services” form.  It is always best to develop a list of photographs that must be taken at your event and assign a volunteer to work with the photographer.
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Campus Directional Signs and Sign Standards
Directional signage should be placed on campus in strategic locations on the morning of the event, and should be retrieved immediately following your event. Typical locations for sign are at major entrances to the university and at forks or turns in campus roads. Parking directional signs indicating both event general parking and program participant (VIP) parking may also be necessary depending upon the location and time of the event.
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OU Staff Retiree Rocking Chair
When an OU staff member reaches 30 years or more of service, and is leaving in good standing, he/she is eligible to receive a solid maple Boston Rocker beautifully finished in handsome satin black and beautiful cherry stain.  The crown of the chair is laser-engraved with OU’s seal and the retiree's name.  The rocking chair order is handled through University Human Resources. 

The Executive Events office has a sample chair for use by departments/units that are holding an event for staff members who are retiring.   The process for borrowing this chair is as follows:

Send an email to Director, Executive Events, at least 4 weeks prior to your event, requesting the sample chair.  The email must include the following information:

o    Date and location of event
Name of department/unit and responsible party
Name of retiree
Pickup and return dates

§     Pickup date should be no sooner than 1 business day prior to your event
Return date should be next business day following your event

-     It is the responsibility of the person making the request to arrange for the pickup and the return of the sample chair and to make sure that proper care is taken in its transport

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